Texas's Drone Law Is Pretty Much The Opposite Of Every Other State's Drone Law

When an ACLU spokesperson declared that "Texas is really the outlier" when it comes to legislation on domestic drone usage, she wasn't joking. That's what advocacy and policy strategist Allie Bohm told Fox News about the law that went into effect on September 1st, and compared to the most of the other states that have laws regarding the use of drones, Texas' legislation is really pretty radical. 

Here Is A Whole Bunch Of Unsanctioned “Don’t Mess With Texas” Merchandise

At the top of the list of things they're not supposed to mess with when people are cautioned with the words "Don't Mess With Texas" is the slogan itself. As Manny Fernandez reports in the New York Times TXDOT, which holds the trademark on the phrase, has filed over 100 cease-and-desist letters since 2000 to companies making unauthorized use of "Don't Mess With Texas." 

The history of the phrase—which was coined in 1985 as part of an antilittering campaign—has been well-documented, but TXDOT's determination to protect it ("to prevent 'Don't Mess With Texas' from losing its original antilittering message," according to state officials cited in Fernandez's story) is a bit surprising. The phrase has been widely used in other contexts by people from George W. Bush (who included it in his speech accepting to the Republican Presidential nomination in 2000) to Greg Abbott (who dropped it on Twitter earlier this month to congratulate two Dallas-area teenagers on helping stop a kidnapping), which presumably makes the stated goal of retaining the antilittering message a difficult task. Over at UrbanDictionary.com, a skirmish appears to have been waged surrounding that confusing context. 

Of course, "Don't Mess With Texas" isn't the only unofficial state slogan to receive official protection: "Remember The Alamo" has been at the heart of similar legal battles in Texas, and a New York coffee shop ran afoul of "I ♥ NY" earlier this year. Still, just because TXDOT has its finger on the "cease-and-desist" button doesn't mean there isn't a plethora of unsanctioned "Don't Mess With Texas" merchandise running around out there. 

The romance novel cited in Fernandez's report may have been required to change its name, but on Amazon, they're still selling it as Don't Mess With Texas

In addition to George W. Bush and Greg Abbott, no less a Texas icon than Nolan Ryan has claimed the phrase, signing memorabilia with the words "Don't Mess With Texas" proudly beneath his signature.

Exoneration Review Bill Passes The Texas House

Texas leads the nation in many thingsunfortunately, not all of them good. Along with New York and Illinois, Texas is among the top three offenders when it comes to wrongful criminal convictions. The case of Michael Morton, in particular, has recently called attention to the mishandlings of justice that are all too common, and now Texas lawmakers are considering ways to buckle down on mistakes.

Hate Taxes? Buy Some Guns

Texans love a good sale. The "tax-free weekend," or the three days before the start of every school year when most clothing and school supplies under $100 are free of sales tax, is a big shopping day for parents. Now it appears as though gun enthusiasts could get the same kind of shopping incentive.

Compound Fracture

I felt bad, at first, for the polygamists when the gun-toting state troopers and other law enforcement personnel busted into their Yearning for Zion compound, outside Eldorado, in early April. I felt bad when the officers tried using a “jaws of life” tool to wrench open the door of the sacred temple, and I felt especially bad when they carried away the children, some of whom were infants holding bottles.


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